On 14 June 2020 WHO and all countries celebrate World Blood Donor Day.
The need for safe blood is universal. Safe blood is critical both for treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and neonatal care.
But access to safe blood is still a privilege of the few. Most low- and middle-income countries struggle to make safe blood available because donations are low and equipment to test blood is scarce. Globally, 42% of blood is collected in high-income countries, which are home to only 16% of the world’s population.
An adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. This is why the World Health Assembly in 2005 designated a special day to thank blood donors and encourage more people to give blood freely. World Blood Donor Day takes place every year on 14 June. As well as thanking blood donors, it is a day to raise awareness about the global need for safe blood and how everyone can contribute.
Blood donations are needed all over the worldto ensure individuals and communities have access to safe and quality-assured blood and blood products in both normal and emergency situations. Through the campaign, we call on more people all over the world to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly.
The day and the theme are also a call to action for governments, national health authorities and national blood transfusion services to provide adequate resources and put in place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors; to provide quality donor care; to promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood; and to set up systems for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion.
The objectives of this year’s campaign are to:
- celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood and encourage more people to start donating;
- raise wider awareness of the urgent need to increase the availability of safe blood for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save life;
- demonstrate the need for universal access to safe blood transfusion and provide advocacy on its role in the provision of effective health care and in achieving universal health coverage;
- mobilize support at national, regional and global levels among governments and development partners to invest in, strengthen and sustain national blood programmes.
Your involvement and support will help to ensure greater impact for World Blood Donor Day 2020, increasing recognition worldwide that giving blood is a life-saving act of solidarity and that services providing safe blood and blood products are an essential element of every health care system. Participation of interested partners is welcome at all levels to make World Blood Donor Day 2020 a success.
International organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and the International Society of Blood Transfusion, among others, continue to work in close collaboration to provide guidance and support to their membership in this endeavour.
We urge you to join us to make access to safe blood a reality for everyone
World Blood Donor Day 2020 events
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO will run a global virtual campaign this year. We will share more details in the coming weeks.